It’s that time of year again. Christmas is over, and it is almost the new year, so you start doing lots of reflecting on the previous year. I tend to do that when I pack up all of my Christmas decorations, and it always makes me emotional. Each ornament has a story and a memory attached to it, so I always have a love/hate relationship with packing it all up. It feels good to get my house back in order and all tidy again, but ever since last year I feel like I pack a little piece of myself up each year in those plastic Christmas boxes.
2014 brought lots of happiness to our family with our sweet little William. We started some new traditions with our little buddy, and it was such a fun year to meet him and continue to watch him grow into the sweet baby that God has created him to be. My parents did something so thoughtful this year, and they created an advent basket for W filled with a new ornament for each day in December, and a verse that went with it. We opened one each night, and had a sweet family moment reading the story of Jesus birth to our baby boy. My family’s tradition when we were little was that we each had a special tree in our room with our own ornaments, so W will always have these each year to put on his own tree.
With all of these sweet times, I still began to cry as I closed up that last box. It’s our last Christmas in our little condo that we have called home for almost 6 years now, and it could be our last Christmas in Auburn. As tears continued to fall from my face, I told D that I feel like I lose Mary Anna more everyday. When I pack up these memories, it is a constant reminder that she is not here.
Her stocking was hung by the chimney with care, but little Mary Anna still was not here this year. And she won’t be here next year or the next or the next. And it just never stops hurting.
Our William brought a new light this year, but my friends, it does not mean that our grief miraculously ended. In some ways this Christmas was harder than last, because we realized what all we miss with her not here. As people would say things to us this year, they had no idea how even though W was in our arms that we were/are still in a lot of pain.
I saw it in a new way in my Granny’s eyes this year. As I looked at her I realized why each Christmas she seems a little bit more down than she did the year before, because it’s another year that she has to live without my PawPaw by her side. I get that ache now.
So as the boxes are almost all put away, and as we close this chapter, here’s to another year. Another year of learning how to Keep Walking without our Mary Anna. When we pack up the miracle of Christmas, we do not have to pack up the hope in Christmas. Jesus came in the form of a tiny baby to save us.
And although I saw the pain of Christmas in my Granny’s eyes, I saw the joy of Christmas in my baby boy’s eyes, because looking at him this year gave me a whole new glimpse of how Mary looked at her baby Jesus. Thank you Mary Anna for never letting us forget what life is about, and thank you William for teaching me more about Jesus everyday. And thank you to my Savior for the gift of my babies. They’re my joy and my reason to celebrate!
Happy New Year everyone!
May 2015 bring you much laughter and joy!